Picturing life in pre-World War II in the Philippines, the author introduces the reader to her beloved Islands and to life in a rural mission station in the 1930s. Wrenched from her tranquil home when Japanese soldiers invaded her hometown just four days after Pearl Harbor, she and her brother David and sister Ruth are sent to join the other mission families hiding in the hill country. Dad and Mother stay behind with the mission's hospital patients. Jean was thrust abruptly from a carefree childhood into the realities of war—a daybreak escape to the hills, months of hiding, a daybreak capture by the Japanese, years of internment, humiliation, privation, and the thrilling rescue at dawn. Move with her from Santo Tomas and Los Banos to eventual freedom.